can't launch Max OS X files

April 9, 2011 at 06:55:07
Specs: Macintosh
Suddenly (because kids playing around at computer?) my files won't launch. Mac 10.5.8. Click, double click, hold... nothing happens.

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April 12, 2011 at 10:54:18
OK, sir. Let me see if I can better understand your situation.

Are you having trouble with *all* files of any sort, applications only, or files themselves, such as rich text documents or webpages? Please explain.

Also, what happens if you click on a file and press Cmd+O. Will it open then? If so:

Re-adjust click speed

- If you're having trouble clicking, you'll have to do things "mouseless" for a bit. :) Open Spotlight by invoking Cmd+Space. Type mouse, use the down arrow key if necessary, and press return. Use the Mouse to switch to the Mouse pane. Select a new double-clicking speed.

If you are not using Tiger or later, you can still navigate around. Try opening the Apple menu, clicking System Preferences, then click Keyboard & Mouse. Follow the Mouse pane instructions above.

Or, press Ctrl+F7 to enable keyboard access, use Ctrl+F1 (or F2) to open the Apple menu, and use the arrow keys to highlight System Preferences. Press return when highlighted. Follow the Mouse pane instructions afterwards.

Repair Disk Permissions

If things simply will not open, including System Preferences, go to Disk Utility, found in the Utilities folder in the Finder. Make sure the Finder is active, and open Utilities from the Go menu in the menubar spanning the very top of your screen. In the First Aid pane, once you have selected your hard disk, click Repair Disk Permissions. If Disk Utility still cannot open, restart the computer.

Do a single-user repair

Right after the chime, hold down Cmd+S to initiate Single User mode. Do a fsck -f -y first, and then do diskutil --repairPermissions. You may have to specify the disk, which will probably be /dev/disk0s0 or similar. This will effectively allow OS X to fix its permissions structure, if everything above fails. If this too does not work, press Ctrl-C to break, then type reboot. This will restart the computer.

Reset the NVRAM

On *any* Mac model, hold down Cmd+Opt+P+R instantly after the chime. Keep holding it until you hear four more chimes, and release the keys. This resets several aspects of the computer's settings, including the clock.

Use trial and error with your account

What happens if you try to log in using another account? Does your mouse work then? If so, then you have preferences corrupted in your account. Rather than diving into more detail, back up your stuff from your home folder to an external drive, and erase your account. From the Accounts pane in System Preferences, add a new account. Re-enter your old settings once your account is deleted. If you need help adding or removing an account, take a look at this thread:

Change Administrator on a Mac and take a look at the instructions.

If all else fails...

If nothing works, you will need to find a bootable OS X disc, and Archive & Install your existing OS X installation. Your existing configuration will be set aside, and OS X will be reinstalled. Before doing this, back everything from all accounts up as a good measure. For a clean start, I recommend doing an Erase & Install.

I hope all these tips help you resolve your problem. Please give this a thumbs up if helpful. Reply at any time with any more questions if you need to. Thank you.

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